Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I started college after I was an adult - almost forty to be exact.  One of my first teachers was a guy with a unique teaching style.  He taught humanities - literature, film, art, etc., and he simply introduced us to various things and asked that we write about our impressions.  No tests, essays, etc.  One of the areas he taught was poetry which I had absolutely no interest in.  I couldn't see the point - it all seemed obscure for no reason.  He said that poetry wasn't supposed to be "understood."  That good poetry simply evoked universal images in the minds of readers.  This fascinated me and I started reading and writing poetry pretty much constantly.  In recent years, all that has gone by the wayside in favor of more practical ways to use my time and energy. 

Resting, for me, has become a necessary activity usually accompanied by mindless television.  The practical ways I use my time and energy usually mean feeding myself, caring for the living beings in my household and taking care of my environment.  I run out of energy quickly and so I rest a lot.  Nevertheless, even mindless television can sometimes wake me up to other ways of living.  Yesterday one of the characters in a show quoted one of my favorite Emily Dickinson poems that expresses the central idea that informs my life:

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all.

No comments:

Blog Archive